The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program is a post-graduate professional qualification offered internationally by the CFA Institute to investment and financial professionals. The CFA Program has the highest level of international legal and regulatory recognition of finance-related qualifications.
The CFA program covers a considerably wide range of topics relating to advanced investment analysis and thus- security analysis, statistics, probability theory, fixed income, derivatives, economics, financial analysis, corporate finance, alternative investments and portfolio management – and provides a generalist knowledge of other areas of finance.
The CFA Program curriculum increases in complexity as you move through the three levels. Below is a chart representing how much weight is given to various exam topics across each level. All exam questions are based on the content in the corresponding curriculum for that level and exam questions are based explicitly on Learning Outcome Statements (LOS). You should be able to accurately answer exam questions if you can accomplish the learning outcomes described by the command words within the LOS.

Each level is organized into study sessions, with assigned readings, Learning Outcome Statements, and practice problem sets.

CFA Curriculum Topics

Ethical and Professional Standards

This topic introduces ethics, related challenges to ethical behavior, and the role played by ethics and professionalism in the investment industry. A framework to support ethical decision making is provided to help guide behavior. CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct is examined, as well as the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS®).

Quantitative Methods

Quantitative method introduces quantitative concepts and techniques used in financial analysis and investment decision making. Descriptive statistics used for conveying important data attributes such as central tendency, location, and dispersion are presented. Characteristics of return distributions are introduced. Probability theory and its application quantifying risk in investment decision making is considered.


Students will be taught the fundamental concepts of supply and demand analysis for individual consumers and firms. Also covered are the various market structures in which firms operate. Key macroeconomic concepts and principles are covered, including aggregate output and income measurement, aggregate demand and supply analysis, and analysis of economic growth factors. The topic concludes with coverage of the business cycle and its effect on economic activity.

Financial Reporting and Analysis

Financial Reporting and Analysis offers a thorough explanation of financial reporting procedures and the standards that govern financial reporting disclosure. Emphasis is on basic financial statements and how alternative accounting methods affect those statement and the analysis of them. Primary financial statements are examined, along with a general framework for conducting financial statement analysis.

Corporate Finance

Corporate Finance covers an introduction to corporate governance and investing and financing decisions. An overview of corporate governance is presented along with a framework for understanding and analyzing corporate governance and stakeholder management. The growing impact of environmental and social considerations in investing is also highlighted. Coverage is given on how companies make use of leverage and manage their working capital to meet short-term operational needs.

Equity Investments

Students will be taught the characteristics of equity investments, security markets, and indexes. Analyze industries, companies and equity securities, and the use of basic equity valuation models. Global equities are defined as an important class for meeting longer-term growth and diversification objectives.

Fixed Income

Students will be taught about fixed income securities and their markets, yield measures, risk factors, and valuation measurements and drivers. Calculating yields and values of fixed income securities will be covered. How to understand securitization of assets, the fundamentals of bond returns and risks, and basic principles of credit analysis are included.


Derivatives builds the conceptual framework for understanding the basic derivatives and derivative markets. Essential features and valuation concepts for forward commitments such as forwards, futures, and swaps and contingent claims are introduced. Arbitrage is discussed, a critical concept that link derivative pricing to the price of the underlying.

Alternative Investments

Alternative Investments includes hedge funds, private equity, real estate, commodities, and infrastructure. The use of alternative investments for diversifications and higher returns is covered. The curriculum defines what alternative investments include, and the characteristics that they have in common.

Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning

Portfolio Management explains and demonstrates the use of fundamentals of portfolio and risk management, including return and risk measurement, and portfolio planning and construction. The needs of both individual and institutional investors are examined, along with the range of available investment solutions. CAPM is used to identify optimal risk in portfolios.